The deal is for $20 million a year, according to the New York Post, which first reported the news. NBC News reps could not be reached for comment. His current deal was inked in summer 2014. “I consider this the best job in broadcasting,” Lauer told The New York Times then. Next year he will mark two decades as co-anchor of Today, the longest tenure ever on the stalwart program that launched in 1952.
Lauer took a beating in traditional and social media in September over his moderating of an NBC News/MSNBC Commander-in-Chief forum with then-presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. He failed to challenge Trump on several of the former Apprentice host’s claims and was criticized for spending too much pounding away at the former Secretary of State’s email habits then rushing her through other topics. Twitter was abuzz with #Laueringthebar.
NBC stood by Lauer during the controversy over the dismissal of Ann Curry as Today co-host in 2012. The year before that, the Wall Street Journal speculated that Ryan Seacrest might replace him in the anchor’s chair — but Lauer’s contract was extended four months later.
But that same month — April 2012 — rival Good Morning America on ABC beat Today as the No. 1-rated morning show, ending the NBC program’s 16-year winning streak. This year, Today show won the May sweep and the 2015-16 broadcast season in the news demo, while GMA was the top-ranked morning show in total viewers.
Lisa de Moraes contributed to this report.